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First-Year Experience

Students in an FYE classroom discussion
About the First-Year Experience

At Skidmore, we believe in the transformative power of liberal education—more precisely, in the power of an educational experience that combines curricular and co-curricular opportunities to liberate the mind and nurture the soul.

The first-year program is designed to get you started on that journey.  Its hallmark is the Scribner Seminar, a small, intense course in which you work closely with a Skidmore faculty member who will also serve as your advisor.  First-year students select a Scribner Seminar from approximately 50 different offerings, exploring fascinating interdisciplinary topics such as American Buddhism or Sport, Self, & Society.  All seminars are designed to stimulate intellectual curiosity, challenge preconceived notions, and provide a solid foundation for continued study at Skidmore.   

And yet the Scribner Seminars are just one component of the overall first-year experience. Students in each seminar are housed in rough proximity to each other to cultivate rich living-learning communities, highlighting the principle that engaged liberal learning is not confined to the classroom.  Moreover, programming is offered throughout the year designed specifically for the unique needs of the first-year student; some of this is related to the first year reading, carefully chosen to invite multiple perspectives, cross-disciplinary analysis, and provocative debate.  

In all, then, Skidmore's First-Year Experience is far more than a single course or an isolated event. It is a combination of offerings and opportunities aimed at the student as a whole person. In the grand tradition of liberal education, our hope is that students emerge from the first year, and eventually from the College, as engaged, thoughtful, and capable citizens of the world.

Janet Casey
Director, First Year Experience
Professor of English